Football in Brief: Bribery probe dropped as Warner resigns his post

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Jack Warner quit as a Fifa vice- president yesterday and had a bribery probe against him dropped by world football's governing body.

Warner and the Asian football chief, Mohamed bin Hammam, were suspended by Fifa last month after they were accused of offering $40,000 (£24,673) cash payments to Caribbean voters during Bin Hammam's presidential campaign to unseat Sepp Blatter.

Warner spent 28 years on Fifa's executive committee but stepped down days after some of his Caribbean Football Union followers were interviewed by former FBI agents enlisted by Fifa to investigate the scandal. "Jack A Warner has informed Fifa about his resignation from his posts in international football," Fifa said in a statement. "Fifa regrets the turn of events that have led to Mr Warner's decision. His resignation has been accepted ... and Mr Warner is leaving Fifa by his own volition, after nearly 30 years of service."

McLeish will ask Downing to reject Anfield overtures advances

Newly appointed Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish hopes to persuade England midfielder Stewart Downing that his future lies at the Midlands club when he reports back to training next month.

McLeish, who was unveiled at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground yesterday, is resigned to the departure of Ashley Young to Manchester United for £16m, however he is determined to prevent Downing – who is wanted by Liverpool – from following suit.

The manager said: "I want Stewart to stay; there's a couple of years left on his contract. I've seen his statement about wanting to play in the Champions League but I'll have a chat with him as soon as he returns from holiday [on 7 July]."

Fulham face a trip to the Faroe Islands

Fulham will take on Faroe Islands side NSI Runavik in the first qualifying round of the Europa League. The Londoners will play the first leg at Craven Cottage on 30 June, with the return match played on 7 July.

If the Cottagers progress they will face Belfast club Crusaders in the second qualifying round. Dundee United drew Slask Wroclaw in the second qualifier. The draw also paired Northern Ireland's Cliftonville with Wales' TNS. League of Ireland side St Patrick's Athletic meet Icelanders IBV, while Neath face Norwegian side Aalesund and Glentoran play FK Renova of Macedonia.

Pearce set to sign new England deal

Stuart Pearce is expected to sign a new two-year contract to remain as England Under-21 head coach, despite his team's disappointing exit from the European Championship on Sunday.

A 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic meant England exited at the group stages of the tournament in Denmark, during which they failed to win a game.

However, the Football Association is adamant that the contract offered to Pearce in March will not be withdrawn. The new deal will see Pearce, 49, remain in charge until 2013.

Lennon extends rolling contract

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has signed a new 12-month rolling contract. Lennon had been on a six-month rolling deal since taking charge last summer, having been caretaker manager for the end of the 2009/10 season.

Meanwhile, the suspended Rangers chief executive, Martin Bain, is to take to court those responsible for the decision to end his time at Ibrox.